Quick FactsCollege: Duke
Years with the Bucks: First Year
Bob Bender enters his first season as a Bucks assistant coach after being named to the position on June 17, 2013.
Before joining the Bucks, Bender spent nine seasons on the bench in Atlanta, serving his final three seasons as an assistant under Larry Drew.
Prior to his time on Atlanta’s staff, Bender was with the Philadelphia 76ers from 2002-04, first as their assistant coach/player development and then as an assistant coach on the bench. His coaching career began at Duke University, where he served as an assistant under Mike Krzyzewski from 1983-89. During his tenure at Duke, the Blue Devils qualified for the NCAA tournament in each of his six seasons and made four trips to the Final Four.
Bender was first named a head coach at Illinois State in 1990, where he earned two Missouri Valley Conference Championships, one conference tournament title and an NCAA Tournament berth. He then spent nine years at the University of Washington (1994-2001), where he directed the Huskies to four consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament from 1996 to 1999. Bender was named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 1996.
A Duke graduate and Quantico, Va., native, Bender is the only individual to play on two different teams in two different NCAA Championship games – one as a freshman on Bob Knight’s undefeated 1976 Indiana team and the other as a guard at Duke in the 1978 title game against Kentucky. He was drafted by the San Diego Clippers in the sixth round before his senior year, but never played in the NBA.
Bender and his wife, Alice, have two children, Mary Elizabeth and Robert Michael III.